Let me first start by telling you how big of a Thrice fan I am. I listened to their debut single “The Artist In The Ambulance” on loop when it came out in 2003. Then I bought their next album, Vheissu, hoping that I would get more of that sound. And besides the opening track “Image of the Invisible,” I quickly lost interest in the band altogether. I know that they have released multiple albums after it (including The Alchemy Index), but I just never felt compelled to dive back into their sound.
So why have I decided to listen to them now? Well, the latest issue of Alternative Press (#282) had named their newest release Major/Minor as their album of the year. The album (just like Manchester Orchestra’s and Bomb The Music Industry’s releases this year) received the five star stamp of approval from the magazine, something that doesn’t happen all too often. That did not bring me int – the exclusion of Manchester Orchestra’s Simple Math did, as it wasn’t even in the Top Ten of the year though it was scored so well. So I took it upon myself to see if Major/Minor truly deserved the title of Best of 2011.
The first four tracks are all incredibly reminiscent to each other; sounding like it could fit into The Dear Hunter’s Orange section in The Color Spectrum collection. The lead track “Yellow Belly” and fourth track “Cataracts” almost sound too much like each other; besides the infliction in Dustin Kensrue’s voice, you could get confused about what son you are actually listening to. Towards the back end of the album came some of the best material. “Words In The Water” is a chilling ballad, with an ever rushing back beat that just drove this song into a distorted emotional bliss. “Blur” is a throwback track, going back to Thrice’s roots and really pulling out a fast, melodic curveball in the middle of the album. “Disarmed” is a calm closer, with chantworthy exits and beautifully executed musicianship from everyone involved.
The entire problem with this album, for me at least, is that there’s no truly memorable material here. I’ve listened to this album multiple times trying to walk away and hum one of the songs off of the album, but for some reason I couldn’t. No one track stood out to me, and although the album was good, it just couldn’t stay with me like some other rock albums that I’ve reviewed this year (not just Manchester Orchestra). Major/Minor is a good sit down, but trying to take a song out of the album is a real struggle.
In closing, Thrice finally got me to listen to their music again – though not really under good pretense. I personally think that Simple Math was the better album of the two, but just like the Alternative Press editors, we all have our personal preferences and opinions. For hardcore Thrice fans, this should be a no brainer. For casual fans, it might be a nice album to stream on Spotify for an afternoon. My opinion? Major/Minor is good, just not THAT good.
Final Grade: B
Go Download: “Cataracts”